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India in negotiations with Germany over Lufthansa flights

FILE PHOTO: Airplanes of German carrier Lufthansa are parked at the Berlin Schoenefeld airport, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Schoenefeld, Germany, June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India’s aviation regulator on Tuesday said it is in negotiations with Germany over flights between the nations after German carrier Lufthansa LHAG.DE said it was forced to cancel some flights to the South Asian country.

Lufthansa earlier said on Twitter that it had been forced to cancel some flights to India after New Delhi rejected its planned flight schedule for October.

A statement from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that current arrangements were resulting in an “inequitable distribution of traffic in favour of Lufthansa”.

“There are restrictions in place for Indian nationals desiring to travel to Germany, which was putting Indian carriers at a significant disadvantage,” the DGCA said.

Indian carriers were operating 3-4 flights a week to Germany, but Lufthansa had been operating 20 flights a week, said DGCA, adding that negotiations were continuing with the government.

India formalised a bilateral “air bubble” with Germany in July and has similar arrangements with the United States and France.

Reporting by Aditi Shah and Nupur Anand; Editing by David Goodman

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